Posts

Showing posts from July, 2015

Myriad shades of blue - Ladakh Trip Part 2

Image
You can read the first part of my Ladakh trip here.

-

The Pangong Tso is a very unusual lake in many ways. One, it has a long and narrow shape: it is over 130 km long, with most of it (60%) lying across the Line of Actual Control and well inside Tibet. Two, it is situated at a height of nearly 14000 feet above sea level. Three, it is a saline lake - and the salinity is a direct result of salty rocks under the lake. And four, despite its salinity, it freezes completely during the winter months and is used as a motorway for faster commute.

And most importantly, it is the most beautiful water body that I've seen in my life.

The drive from Leh to the lake is again, like the drive to Nubra, pretty long - and heavily dependent on weather conditions. En route, you cross the Chang La pass, which, at 17585 feet, is the third highest motorable road in the world (Khardung La was the highest).



The landscape transitions, like during the Nubra drive in particular, and any long drive in Ladakh …

To the Top of the World, and Beyond: Ladakh Trip Part 1

Image
Nestled between the lofty ranges of the Kunlun to the north and Himalayas to the south, Ladakh, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is one of the highest plateaus in the world. Owing to its strategic location at the juncture of three international borders - those of India, Pakistan and China - the region has had its share of a tumultuous past. Notwithstanding its long volatile history of political conflicts, Ladakh is today one of the most scenic and breathtakingly beautiful places that one can visit in India, and possibly, the world.


The best season to visit Ladakh is either during the months of May-June or just after the monsoons, in August-October. During the monsoons, the rains wreak havoc on an already unstable geography and the snowfalls and blizzards during the winter prove to be a massive impedance.
The two most iconic places to see in Ladakh are the Nubra valley, which requires you to cross the world's highest motorable pass - the draconian Khardung La - at an eye-waterin…